Brussels, Belgium – Addressing the Global ICAO Symposium on Air Navigation Performance, the Director General of EUROCONTROL, Víctor M. Aguado said that the European air traffic management system has benefited from a systematic continent-wide performance measurement and review system, and noted that such an experience could be usefully developed on a global level.
In his speech, Mr Aguado underlined that in a European context, performance centres on the concepts of safety, capacity, efficiency and sustainability, and substantial progress has been made in all these areas. A new EUROCONTROL brochure, ‘European Air Traffic Management: our commitment to performance’ underlines the results that have been achieved, reinforcing the assessment made by the EUROCONTROL Performance Review Commission (PRC). However the global reach of air transport underlines the need for a globally optimised Air Navigation System, and to that end, EUROCONTROL is looking forward to working with partners around the world to share goals and targets for air traffic management at regional and global level.
Safety is the key priority, and global safety indicators should be developed so as to have a world-wide view of safety performance. In Europe, over the past four years, safety among air navigation service providers and regulators has been strengthened. However, in order to get good safety data, safety occurrences must be suitably reported – which requires establishment of a ‘Just Culture’ – currently a key focus in Europe.
Capacity is also a key issue, and despite increasing traffic numbers, Europe has succeeded in keeping flow management delays at a level close to the economic optimum of one minute’s average delay per flight. Capacity improvement actions saved airlines some €3.9 billion between 1997 and 2005. Several programmes are in place to release latent capacity in order to cope with short-term traffic demand, and in 2006 actions taken at local and European level produced an estimated gain of capacity of 5%. For the longer-term, the European Commission and EUROCONTROL financed the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme – a wide industry effort to build the future performance-based Air Traffic Management System.
All these efforts contribute to sustainability of aviation. Already in Europe environmental measures in Air Traffic Management are reducing CO2 emissions by 2 million tonnes, equivalent to 1 % per annum. It has been estimated that ATM could ultimately help aviation deliver up to an additional 10 % reduction in CO2 emissions.
“The performance of Air Navigation Services is intricately linked to that of aviation as a whole. If we can establish global targets, performance-based development becomes possible, representing a major shift from technology-driven to performance-driven, from solutions-based to performance-based strategies,” Mr Aguado added.
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